by Amy Lignor
Yes, there were other games yesterday. There were also other important football games played yesterday where teams had to say goodbye for the year, while others saw miracles that would take them into the playoffs.
As already believed, in the AFC, Manning and his Broncos and Brady and his Patriots will enjoy a rest while they sit home and watch the wild card contenders battle it out. But when people look back on this NFL regular season, which many will do for the next couple of days as 2013 bids so long, they will see that there was one game that stood out above all the rest this year for excitement, thrills and chills.
The Green Bay Packers have had a heck of a year, as did the rest of their Division. Every team seemed to lose when they should win and vice versa, and the Packers had the worst uphill battle because of the fact that their star QB – Aaron Rodgers – had to sit on the sidelines with his broken collarbone.
When this hit happened, you could see the hope in the fans’ eyes diminish and you could see the light dim in the coach’s eyes when Rodgers power was taken off the field. Seven starts; that’s what he missed, and the results in the win-loss column for the Packers wasn’t pretty. Upside was…the rest of their Division didn’t post pretty numbers either.
But yesterday, even the fan in their own home could feel the energy and spark return to the football field as Aaron Rodgers took the lead once again with more than a little worry in his eyes. He was at Soldier Field, and goodness knows Rodgers certainly had been there before. In fact, he’d been a winner there most times he’d visited.
When the play began both the Bears and the Packers looked as if they were playing the actual Super Bowl. This rivalry has been going on since the beginning of time, of course, so every football fan knew that they would see a stunning game. But what they got was way more than that.
The first half was more than a little shaky for Rodgers. He had said before the game that his arm had never been stronger. Well, he was right. His passes went through the hands and over the heads of his receivers. But you can’t blame him for everything; there were many that the receivers simply missed completely.
Then, real football happened. Everything from fumbles to interceptions to, of course, squabbles and pushing on the field which seemed more than normal considering the rivalry and what was at stake. The winner had a shot; the loser wasn’t even a contender.
The best play of the game? The ball was just sitting there on the field. Aaron Rodgers had been stopped from throwing at the last second and the ball just sort of lobbed out of his hands and laid on the turf. Oddly enough, Rodgers and his teammate looked at it for a bit and seemed to scan the rest of the field, seeing that everyone else was having a chit chat waiting for the next play to begin. The ball was scooped up and basically walked into the end zone by the Packers. Was it a dead play? Nope. It was ruled a fumble but no one seemed to know that. Most likely it was the easiest TD Green Bay or any team has ever made. But even though it was odd, it counted on the scoreboard.
The second half proved to be the catalyst that allowed Rodgers to get his groove back and shake the dust off. His strong arm did the work when it needed to, and even though there were still fumbles back and forth, the Packers were victorious and basically jumping up and down with glee.
Chicago did a mighty job of stopping them; Cutler’s arm was working and he did his very best to keep the Packers from winning on his turf…again. Unfortunately, it was not to be.
The game was definitely not pretty, but it was the coolest game of the season. This is one that will be played again and again on TV sets across the land. Now, the winner who took all – the Pack – are headed to meet their other long-time rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, to see who will move on and attempt to (most likely) beat the Seattle Seahawks for a chance at Super Bowl glory!
Until Next Time, Everybody,